Thursday, December 22, 2011

CIJA Struggles For Cred

I've written about  the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) a number of times, mostly in regards to their backing away from the fight against organized hate speech in Canada for an "Israel, Israel, let's talk Israel 24/7" approach to human rights issues.  It appears I'm not the only one who views them skeptically:

“It is not clear to me who CIJA represents. Unlike [Canadian Jewish] Congress, whose officers were elected by a body representing organizations and communities across Canada, CIJA seems to be a self-appointed body, beholden only to a very small group of extremely influential backers. This transformation is a major defeat for democracy in the Canadian Jewish community,” Rabbi Scheim [, spiritual leader of Toronto’s Beth David B’nai Israel Beth Am Synagogue] said.

Interesting too that Stockwell Day is on CIJA's BOD, given his past.


brennerman said...

Oh my God Mr Weinstein, you are being hysterical. This is NOT anti-Semitic. If I were the one who runs this blog I would look into libel charges. This is exactly the kind of bullying that gives our community a bad name.

I have been a long time Zionist that will occasionally question certain policies of the Israeli government, am I also and anti-Semite?

And as for CIJA like many fellow Toronto Jews especially my Shul mates,, I too question the loss of our community's human rights agenda. I want a strong Israel advocacy group but Bnai Brith does both why can't CIJA? Does that also make me anti-Semitic?

Admin said...

The CJC stopped being "democratic" in any sense several years ago when its constitution was changed to effect a CIJA takeover (ie instead of the CJC leadership being elected, the reforms allowed CIJA to essentially appoint officers). The completion of the takeover this year marks the extinguishing of democracy within the "official" Jewish leadership and its replacement with a pure plutocracy in which a small number of superwealthy families who now fund CIJA call the shots. The claim that this self-appointed group of autocrats represents anyone but about 1% of the Jewish community is laughable. It's not the Centre for Israel and Jewish Advocacy but the Centre for Schwartz/Resisman/Asper Advocacy.

Holly Stick said...

From that article about Day: "... Rathjen reports that, before its collapse, the former Bentley Christian Centre was a renegade Pentecostal church that instituted a divine mandate to replace grassroots congregational representation..."

Sound familiar? Like astroturf? Like fake grassroots websites claiming to be ethical? Why not other fake groups claiming to be Jewish?

Also from that article" ... But there was more to the ACE material than just Bible teaching. Social studies lessons warned students that democratic governments "represent the ultimate deification of man, which is the very essence of humanism and totally alien to God's word."..."

deboaned said...

I don't know much about what Firebrand alleges but I do know that up until the CjC was disbanded it supported a progressive human and civil rights agenda.

And as for Brenerman's blog, I agree with him completely! The JDL accuses BCL of being an anti-Semite, it's such crap and it's a classic way of trying to delegitimize. I hope BCL checks out whether there is room to take civil action.

Jerome Bastien said...

I hope BCL checks out whether there is room to take civil action.

You guys are so short-sighted and incapable of introspection, its just too funny. If baseless accusations of racism were actionable, every liberal who ever argued with a conservative would be defending themselves in court.

The Supreme Court ruled that calling a pro-life person a 'nazi' is fair comment.

More to the point, MW didnt call BCL an anti-semite, he said he finds "this post to be antisemitic", and that is a big distinction.

Sorry for this reality interlude. You may resume the echo chamber now.

sassy said...

I find this post to be antisemitic. You exposed yourself.

Is that the best you've got :(

Meir Weinstein said...

Go ahead and sue. Make my day.

Mordechai Maizel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mordechai Maizel said...

Apologies had to correct some grammar so I am re-posting:

Jerome what do you think Mr. Weinstein meant when he stated "you exposed yourself"? However personally I wouldnt waste my time. Most in the Jewish community have never paid much attention to the JDL. And since the JDL began to dance with nazi supporters like the English Defense league they have become a bit of a laughing stock.

It is instructive though to see the JDL's attempts at intimidation. Its so obvious and so grade five-like.

Bigcitylib I have always thought you to be a friend of Israel and to minorities in general. I would ignore the bullies and the oafs. Let them talk amongst themselves.

canadian hindu advocacy said...

This is a racist and anti semtitic blog, no doubt. They allow posters to spew racist epithets against Hindus, I remember one poster calling a CHA poster 'kaalu' or gaandu' or Paki or some racial epithet. Also, the owner of this blog is a known racist and I can prove it.

Omar said...


no wonder the Liberals don't want bloggers at their convention. They come with too much baggage.

Mordechai Maizel said...

And right on cue who pops up but the JDL of the Hindu community the CHA. As I said, ignore them no one really pays attention to them

Meir Weinstein said...

Not to worry Morechai, BCL will still pat you on the head.

Anonymous said...

Meir (if indeed that is you) it seems weird that you would call someone anti-semitic for questioning the dedication to democratic values of an organisation that claims to represent Canadian Jews, yet have no comment on this
“A rabbi was not excluded and several were considered. If we were mandated to include a rabbi, from what denomination would she/he have to be?"
The fact that such a question was not asked about the presence of a catholic priest (how did they come up with that denomination?)
Or as BCL quite rightly notes a former evangelical whackjob.
Note that both of these strains of irrationality have hardly had a great track record with respect to respecting the right for Jews to exist as Jews.
Room for the traditional oppressors of Jews from both major persuasions, but not for a rabbi? Now that is strange.

Meir Weinstein said...

harebell, you would not know an antisemite if you tripped over one. I stand by my comment

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